Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Still Alive, Part 2: APT Sydney

Whoa two updates in a week, I must be going crazy. I thought I'd give this blog some more love, and since I recently played and ran deep in a major (for Australia) tournament, I decided to do a small little tourney wrap up. The tournament at the Star Casino here was branded a billion ways - a "special event" of the Asian Poker Tour (APT), NPL Million/Main Event, Star Summer Series, etc. Basically, it was a $2000 freezeout which attracted 648 runners, with 282k going to first. Big, for sure, and I was happy to try my luck and aging poker hand in this donkament!

On Day 1, I was seated at an eleven handed table due to lack of tables; I don't think I've ever had the pleasure of so much fine company in such close quarters... and fine company it was. The players were mostly "pub" players, meaning many of them had qualified in small local or regional satellites. aka, this was a fish fest of greatest proportions. My first table was a poker player's dream - 10 other passive, never-raise-without-"it" players who would rarely get out of line, so you didn't have to worry about being outplayed or bluffed too often. One of my first notable hands was when EP opened and received 6 calls, including myself in the SB with JTs. Flop came Q95r, and the whole table checked around (I was so shocked). So when turn came low, I fired thinking that if anyone even had a Queen, they'd be way too weak to defend against a big river bet. 3 people called me haha...then I brick river naturally. I figured AQ KQ were surely raising preflop right?? And I'm repping incredible strength when I bet into 3 people on river, so fire river I did, a healthy 3/4 pot. I think KQ QJ is folding always, would have been so surprised if they did call me there, in that spot. I was pretty sad to leave that table, and grinded the next few hours at a slightly harder table. But not too much harder...promptly stacked a dude's 20k @ 100/200, when I had KK, he limp/called with QJo.. and we somehow got it all in on the turn on a Qxxx board, him check/shoving me. gg

One interesting hand was when I had T7o in the SB limped pot, CO had limped. I check/raised the A98 flop (two clubs) since I figured he was just stealing, but he called me which was slightly annoying. I bricked the turn, but led thinking I'd get him off his non-premium Ace since he hadn't raised pf, and I was in the blinds damnit! I always have some shit there. The glorious 6 arrived to my great surprise, and I fired huge. He tanked for like 3 minutes, eventually called, and I experienced the best live poker feeling for me...rolling over rags no one suspects that have turned into the absolute nuts. He had turned two pair, oops! My plan was probably to shut down on the river, but if river was a 3rd club, I might have fired huge again.

My best bluff of the tourney happened a few hours later when I raised over a shorty's late limp with K4c, flop AK8, and I checked it back which seems alright/standard. He led 2k into me on a blank turn and I called just because I might have the best hand, it's a bit disguised and I might be able to outplay him river, which came another blank. He fired 2350 with about 9k left in his stack. I put him on exactly A9 or AT, and because I didn't think he'd be the type to call off his tourney with only 1 pair, I threw out a bunch of yellow 5k chips to set him in. I knew if he thought about it, I don't really rep much by checking the flop, just calling his turn bet, and shoving a meaningless river. It should have been an easy call with just his Ace, but I was sure enough that he didn't see it that way. I'd never pull this sort of bluff on someone I knew was a thinking player. After all these hands, I bagged up 115k (start with 30k) and called it a night.

On the long 14 hour next day, my chip stack see-sawed mightily. One of my 3 or 4 freeroll-should-be-out of tournament spots happened early on. I was big stack at table, with almost 100 BB, and opened in EP with KK, only to find a capable player 3betting me in position (who had a giant stack too). I thought that there was not enough history for me to 4bet and get him to 5bet me light here, and his 3b range wasn't limited to premiums, so calling easily seemed like the correct play. Plus we were extremely deep (for poker tournies) and I strongly doubt he was getting it in with me with AK. And finally, I like being tricky. Flop came Jack high rainbow and I check/called on flop. To me, there were tons of bluffs/air in his range (he seemed like that kind of guy?), so no point in raising this flop. And I really get no value in this pot from KJ/AJ if I raise. The turn was a Queen, not a great card since QJ/QQ got there, but not to worry I thought to myself, I still have fucking Kings. He checked behind which relieved me a bit, since we wouldn't have to play for stacks now. River was a low blank and I checked because I thought he would 1) bluff very high % of the time thinking I'd fold 77-TT, 2) value town himself with J-x or Q-x, or 3) not call my river bet since he probably wasn't that strong overall for checking the turn. He bet quite large, like 19k, and I snap tossed in the only blue 25k chip on the table. But he rolled over the hand I literally least expected to see, AA! That hand seriously almost never entered my mind, except in a "oh wouldn't it be funny if he had..." moment. If I had had fewer chips, we woulda gotten in preflop and I woulda been done. Instead I still had 100k and plenty to work with at 600/1200.

I dwindled mightily during the course of the next few hrs, openings and cbets not really getting through, in addition to whiffing every board. With the increasing blinds, I dwindled to about 15 BB before my 2nd tourney-saving moment, I shipped it pf with TT and got flatted by a player with JJ...however he folded when a player with KK reshipped over the top. QQ was also in the blinds but he folded! Flop came T high and I more than tripled up, was so hot to suck outtttt. I finished and went on the best dinner break ever...the thai fried rice was amazing....

When we went back at night, the blinds had gotten huge and I was once again a bit short, below average. Got in JJ vs TT fortunately, flopped quads, and held phew. Lost a huge pot with 88 to T4c on a J87cc board, kinda sucky to lose that one, would have had about 400k. One of the most fun hands I played this tourney went down when I failed to see UTG had opened to 20k, and I looked down at 84s in the SB and completed lol. BB called as well, and flop came 832r, I thought to myself, "Andrew you idiot what have you gotten yourself into" as I check/called 32k. Turn was an Ace, but I was undeterred to his 67k bet since I thought he was just muscling a big stack, so I called. River went check check and I won a huge 270k pot with that dumb hand. Later on, I lost A4o to K9o in a blind on blind shove in a pot worth 350k, so ended the night down to 120k, 10 BB for tomorrow's day 3! We had gone into the money sometime earlier that night, and got down to 43 people.

Day 3 was fun up and down as well, and I had hopes on nursing the short stack I had into something. I ran extremely well and picked up KK against QQ, got a guy with 300k to stack off to me when I opened A6o and he defended with 54s...board came A654 and we got it in on the turn after a sneaky check of mine on flop. Stayed a bit below average for the majority of the day after being above average all day yesterday. Won a nice pot off my friend and poker pro buddy Jim Collopy when I opened QTd and he defended BB. Flop was 993 and I checked behind waiting for some backdoor draws to develop. I spiked a T and he bet/called my 71k on the turn and 140k on river. After I took out a shorty, I was up to 1.2m at 12k/24k, which despite being only 20 BB, was plenty to work with this whole tournament. At one point in the final 18 players, I got all in with AK against the eventual winner's AJ, and we chopped a 1.6m pot, very annoying as I would have been among the leaders. Then a blah hand came up, expertly played by my friend, where he called my triple barrel bets of 110k, 155k, and 255k with T8s on a T43K7 board, where I had A-high. I finally bowed out in 11th place when I made a trivial reship with A6s with 15 BB against the large stack's open on the final table bubble, and he happened to have 88. I had great fold equity for sure, just unlucky he had 88 and I couldn't outdraw. 11th paid a nice 14k, and brought my great, unexpected and lucky run to and end!

I thought I played very well throughout this tournament, at least for someone who hasn't really played a significant live tourney since EPT Madrid 2.5 years ago. The level of play was definitely much lower than I have been accustomed to, but never underestimate the power of cards and hands. No pro in the world can win anything without some cards and luck. This time around, I was lucky enough to FINALLY cash in a poker tournament at this terrible casino. It took me long enough (stretching back to 2008).

My next tournament will most likely be another random little $800 freezeout, up in Macau this time as part of the Red Dragon series. I have a bit of time to kill and I get to splash around in Asia! Right L?


Anonymous said...

hey, how have you managed to enrol at college in Australia?have you gained Australian citizenship?

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